PPRC Friday Rally Looks to the State of the Union, Condemns Bush’s
Fear-Mongering Campaign Propaganda.
Event: PPRC Friday Rally Looks to the State of the Union
Date: Friday, January 21st, 2004
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square
The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition 5:00 p.m.
Friday rally and march for peace at Pioneer Courthouse
Square will turn to the State of the Union, reflecting
on the elements of Bush’s latest address to the nation.
"Whereas President Roosevelt galvanized a nation with
his immortal words ‘the only thing we have to fear is
fear itself,’1 we now suffer Bush’s campaign slogan:
‘Let’s keep fear alive!", said Mikel Clayhold, one of
the many Friday rally regulars. "Bush continues his
war on our democracy, whipping up the ‘nameless, unreasoning,
unjustified terror’ that Roosevelt warned against over
half a century ago." Clayhold noted what was missing
from the address, saying "Bush’s strategy is to instill
fear with the aim that Americans will forget the lies
they’ve been told and the lives that have been squandered
in his criminal wars."
"There was nothing said of the thousands of deaths in Iraq, over five
hundred US soldiers and over 16,000 Iraqis killed, no mention of the
about weapons of mass destruction or uranium shipments, no mention of
lies about links to al-Qaeda, no discussion of the growing insecurity
Iraq, the almost daily attacks on US soldiers and Iraqi civilians, no
mention of the growing opposition to US ‘transition’ plans," said
"But we say ‘No!’ to the fear that Bush has to offer, and we say ‘No!’
Bush’s permanent war on our democracy, and we say ‘No!’ to the crony
corporate corruptions of his no-bid contracts to Halliburton, paid for
tax payers and the lives of US soldiers."
"What other resident of the White House has his speech prefaced by
assurances that it’s been checked for accuracy," asked Tina Hulbe, a
frequent rally MC. "Such statements are a tragic reminder of the lies
have carried our nation into a misguided and criminal war in Iraq."
Associated Press quoted White House communications director, Dan
saying that "I can assure you that it’ll all be fact-checked just
"Bush promised to give U.S. troops the best equipment possible, but we
why that wasn’t done before he sent them to war," said Hulbe. "Bush
all is going well in Afghanistan, that women are free and children are
in school, and yet anybody who read the recent Mercy Corps report in
Oregonian knows better." Hulbe cited cases of threatening notes,
homes and in the streets, telling women to stay home and girls to stay
of school. "The fundamental infrastructure necessary before any
change is accomplished is not being built," said Hulbe. "While the new
constitution does in fact mention women - and for that the women of
Afghanistan should be cheered, not the president of the United States
does so in only the slightest possible way." Hulbe also took issue
Bush’s claims about new freedom for the Iraqi people. "Here too women
afraid to leave their homes," said Hulbe. "In a country where women
have rights equal to men, fear of crime and sectarian violence now
them indoors." Hulbe cited recent proposals for a Sharia-based
law) constitution that would further reduce women’s autonomy.
Those opposed to the Iraq war and occupation also doubted Bush’s
to a genuine transition to Iraqi democracy. "The US occupation
cancelled the plan for a national census, the first step in organizing
democratic elections, and in place of elections, the governing council
hand-selected by the United States and filled mainly with out-of-touch
exiles who now spend as little time living in the country as possible "
nominate participants in a ‘caucus’ process," explained Hulbe. "This
government by an elite few, not full Iraqi sovereignty." Others were
blunt in their assessment of the transition plans. "Bush is setting up
puppet government in Iraq," said Jody Heatlie, a volunteer with the
"This is obvious to the Iraqi people, it’s obvious to the international
community, and it is equally obvious that this will only lead to
attacks and opposition to the US occupation.""
1. The quotation in this case is from Franklin Roosevelt’s March 4th,
First Inauguration Address.
2. "Bush picks words carefully in speech, but some still fell off the
, by Calvin Woodward, Associated Press Writer, January 20, 2004, San
Francisco Chronicle online.
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